IOM Reveals Over 1,000 Nigerians Scammed With Fake UK Job Offers

The United Nations Migration Agency, International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has reported that more than 1,000 Nigerians have fallen prey to scams involving fraudulent job opportunities in the United Kingdom.
Laurent De Boeck, IOM’s Chief of Mission, disclosed this at a news conference yesterday in Abuja.
Boeck revealed that victims have lost substantial amounts, with some individuals losing as much as $10,000 in their desperate pursuit of overseas employment.
Boeck highlighted the dire situation faced by these victims, noting that some find themselves stranded in the UK due to financial constraints, while others, out of shame, hesitate to return to their families.
He emphasized the extent of the issue, stating, “Over a thousand people are affected.”
“There are some of them who lost over $10,000 only to be given fake employment letters, which allowed them to get visas.”
“They get there, present the letters, and the organisations tell them that the letters did not emanate from the organisations. Over a thousand people are affected,” he stated.
Furthermore, Boeck shared that in 2023 alone, over 260,000 Nigerians sought guidance from the agency on legal migration routes and underwent pre-departure health assessments.
 The IOM is actively collaborating with partners to repatriate individuals, including Nigerians, from Tunisia, which has recently imposed migration restrictions.
Discussing internal displacements, Boeck highlighted a concerning 30% annual increase over the past five years in many states of the North West, with Zamfara being the most impacted.
 Banditry and other criminal activities are identified as significant contributors to this rise.
“In Kano, people are displaced within and there are others who have migrated, which is why our offices in Libya and Niger have more migrants originating from Kano,” he stated.
“In 2023, IOM identified and supported 682 victims of trafficking, with a dedicated focus on vulnerable groups such as survivors of gender-based violence, persons with disabilities, and unaccompanied and separated children.
“Collaborating with the Federal Government of Nigeria, IOM facilitated the return of 4,431 Nigerians and supported their reintegration. A total of 2,853 individuals received reintegration assistance, engaging in socio-economic opportunities of their choice.
“IOM’s Migration Health efforts in 2023, including over 260,000 Pre-Departure Medical Health Assessments diagnosing and referring 166 migrants with TB, administering 15,000 vaccine doses, and renovating three public hospitals, exemplified the organization’s commitment to comprehensive healthcare,” he stated.
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